If the zombie apocalypse truly is nigh, it is because shows like Lysistrata Jones actually get produced for the stage, and worse yet, make a cast album. This album deserves "ZERO Stars," but the rating system here does not go below 0.5.
The Battle of the Stereotypes and Bad Music
Supposedly a revamped, 21st century version of the age-old Battle of the Sexes, Lysistrata Jones is a terrible rendering of the Greek play Lysistrata in which the women refuse to have sex with the men until they stop fighting.
In this atrocious musical, the setting is Athens University which sports a basketball team with a 33-year losing streak. Enter "Lysistrata Jones" who sets out to turn things around with all the Valley Girl "like," "girlfriend," and "sister!" interjections of a wannabe Legally Blonde.
The Music and Lyrics are written by Lewis Flinn. This rightfully short-lived Broadway musical features so-called music in the non-traditional stage styles of hip-hop, pop, and dance music. The few doses of Latin-infused tunes are not enough to elevate the pedestrian music and beginner rhyme-y rhyme lyrics.
The women come across as irrationally demanding and stupid (Lysistrata Jones cannot pronounce "Pelopponesian"). The song "Don't Judge a Book" seems to reinforce stereotypes, not dispel them. In "Right Now: Operetta" (the term applied very loosely), the lyrics say, "It's like fighting a battle, like in World War II, the girls are like the Germans..." So apparently, women wanting men to rise above laziness gets us likened to Nazis?... Again?...
This is what happens when a story about women and sex is written by a man who seems to have little experience with either.
Overall, the cast album is awful. Lysistrata Jones does not deserve to belong to the genre of Musical Theatre. The music does not deserve to be called music, and the singing is barely better than average community theatre singing -- and yet, I cannot see even a community theatre actually wanting to perform this show. How it got financed for Broadway or a studio recording is a mystery to me.
If you like hip-hop, dance music, pop music, and all the lame lyrics and boring time signature that go with it, you will enjoy the cast album for Lysistrata Jones. If you actually have any taste for music or storytelling, avoid this cast album of Lysistrata Jones (and the show) at all costs.
Here are a few choices that do deserve your time and attention:
- Once the Musical, 2012 Tony Award-winning Best Musical
- Jekyll & Hyde 2012 Concept Cast Album
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 2012 Encores! Production
- Follies, 2012 Broadway Revival
- Bonnie & Clyde
- Evita, 2012 Broadway revival
- War Horse, 2011 Tony Award-winning Broadway Play, National Theatre Production
- A Christmas Story, the Musical
1. Right Now: Opening
2. Right Now: Party Time - Liz Mikel
3. Just Once - Patti Murin and Lindsay Nicole Chambers
4. Change the World - Patti Murin
5. No More Giving It Up
6. Lay Low - Josh Segarra
7. I Don't Think So - Liz Mikel
8. You Go Your Way - Patti Murin and Josh Segarra
9. Where Am I Now? - Patti Murin
10. Writing On the Wall - Liz Mikel
11. Hold On - Jason Tam, Patti Murin, and Liz Mikel
12. Don't Judge a Book - La Quet Sharnell and Alex Wyse
13. Right Now: Operetta
14. When She Smiles - Josh Segarra
15. Hold On (Reprise) - Liz Mikel and Patti Murin
16. The Final Game - Liz Mikel
17. Give It Up!
18. Never Say Never (Curtain Call) - Biti Strauchn
19. Bonus Track: Hold On - Jennifer Holliday